American art - limestone riggs painting
Robert Riggs (American, 1896–1970), "Limestone Kilns, Wyandotte Chemical Company, Michigan," ca. 1947–48, Tempera on panel, 21 3/4 × 26 1/2 in. (55.2 × 67.3 cm). Collection of the Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, Michigan. Museum purchase with funds from an anonymous donor in honor of Barbara and the late Bruce Mackey, 2011.322

Experience early 20th-century America through the eyes of iconic artists at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Michigan, now through April 14, 2024. “American Realism: Visions of America” is an exhibition that highlights the art and artists who defined American art as we know it today by capturing the everyday moments of life in America from 1900–1950.

American art - painting of an amusement park ride
Reginald Marsh (American, 1898-1954), “Tunnel of Love (Spooks),” Oil on hardboard, 1943. Collection of the Muskegon Museum of Art, Museum purchase, through the gift of the André Aerne Estate, 2017.26

More from the museum:

The early 20th century was a transformative time for art in America as industry, immigration, and politics changed the way of life for many Americans.

Artists of the time were heavily influenced by Western European art, however, artists in America sought to define an art movement that reflected the changing times by capturing the American experience.

American art - portrait of a laughing child
Robert Henri (American, 1865-1929), “Laughing Child,” Oil, 1907. Collection of the Muskegon Museum of Art, Purchased in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Muskegon Museum of Art, through the gifts of the Van Kampen Boyer Molinari Foundation, the 100th Anniversary Art Acquisition Fund, the Shaw and Betty Walker Fund, the Hackley Picture Fund, Roger & Marilyn Andersen, Jim & Donna Brooks, George & Barbara Gordon, Baker College in honor of Gary Ostrom, Frank & Susan Bednarek, Jon & Jane Blyth, Timothy & Anne Erickson, Robert & Ruth Fountain, John J. Helstrom, Mathias & Esther Helstrom, Larry & Roxanna Herder, Hines Corporation, Mr. & Mrs. Timothy Michalski, Marge & Paul Potter, Mike & Debby Schubert, Drs. Donald T. & Shirley A. Van Hoeven, Kenneth & Marguerite Winter, and the Friends of Art, 2009.3
American art - painting of the Brooklyn bridge
Glenn O. Coleman, “Brooklyn Bridge,” ca. 1930, oil on canvas. Collection of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sylvan Buchman in memory of Morris Markin

Iconic artists such as Robert Henri, George Bellows, Guy Pène du Bois, Reginald Marsh, Hughie Lee-Smith, Charles Alston, and many more led this new era of art in America through paintings, drawings, and prints that defined American art as we know it today.

Learn more about the exhibition at


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